A 12-year study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that Americans improved their eating habits slightly over the years, but that was not the case for America’s poor. Harvard assigned individuals different scores based on their food choices, creating a healthy diet index. A perfect score was 110 and reflected a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.
U.S. adults who took part in the study averaged about 40 points from 1999-2000, improving their score by 7 points from 2009-10. However, the scores of low-income individuals were four points lower than their wealthier counterparts at the beginning of the study, falling another two points from 2009-10.
A poor diet is tied to poor health outcomes, as it increases one’s risk of obesity and certain chronic conditions like heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Such diseases may also affect your ability to lead a productive lifestyle, which can widen the wealth gap between the rich and the poor.
Click here to read more about the Harvard study, as reported by the Winston-Salem Journal, and how the U.S. government and manufacturers are working together to help solve the problem. Your congregation is also encouraged to take steps to improve the health of your members by serving healthier foods and beverages at church events. For resources and support, please click here.